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v. dis·trained, dis·train·ing, dis·trains Law
1. To seize and hold (property) to compel payment or reparation, as of debts.
2. To seize the property of (a person) in order to compel payment of debts; distress.
To levy a distress.

[Middle English distreinen, from Old French destreindre, destreign-, from Medieval Latin distringere, distrinct-, from Latin, to hinder : dis-, apart; see dis- + stringere, to draw tight; see streig- in Indo-European roots.]

dis·train′a·ble adj.
dis·train′ment n.
dis·trai′nor, dis·train′er n.


(Law) law to seize (personal property) by way of distress
[C13: from Old French destreindre, from Latin distringere to impede, from dis-1 + stringere to draw tight]
disˈtrainable adj
disˈtrainment n
disˈtrainor, disˈtrainer n


1. to seize and hold goods, etc., of (another) in order to obtain satisfaction of a claim for damages, unpaid rent, etc.
2. to levy a distress.
[1250–1300; Middle English distreinen < Anglo-French, Old French destreindre < Latin distringere to stretch out =di- di-2 + stringere to draw tight; see strain1]
dis•trai′nor, dis•train′er, n.


Past participle: distrained
Gerund: distraining

I distrain
you distrain
he/she/it distrains
we distrain
you distrain
they distrain
I distrained
you distrained
he/she/it distrained
we distrained
you distrained
they distrained
Present Continuous
I am distraining
you are distraining
he/she/it is distraining
we are distraining
you are distraining
they are distraining
Present Perfect
I have distrained
you have distrained
he/she/it has distrained
we have distrained
you have distrained
they have distrained
Past Continuous
I was distraining
you were distraining
he/she/it was distraining
we were distraining
you were distraining
they were distraining
Past Perfect
I had distrained
you had distrained
he/she/it had distrained
we had distrained
you had distrained
they had distrained
I will distrain
you will distrain
he/she/it will distrain
we will distrain
you will distrain
they will distrain
Future Perfect
I will have distrained
you will have distrained
he/she/it will have distrained
we will have distrained
you will have distrained
they will have distrained
Future Continuous
I will be distraining
you will be distraining
he/she/it will be distraining
we will be distraining
you will be distraining
they will be distraining
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been distraining
you have been distraining
he/she/it has been distraining
we have been distraining
you have been distraining
they have been distraining
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been distraining
you will have been distraining
he/she/it will have been distraining
we will have been distraining
you will have been distraining
they will have been distraining
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been distraining
you had been distraining
he/she/it had been distraining
we had been distraining
you had been distraining
they had been distraining
I would distrain
you would distrain
he/she/it would distrain
we would distrain
you would distrain
they would distrain
Past Conditional
I would have distrained
you would have distrained
he/she/it would have distrained
we would have distrained
you would have distrained
they would have distrained
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.distrain - levy a distress on
levy, impose - impose and collect; "levy a fine"
2.distrain - confiscate by distress
confiscate, impound, sequester, seize, attach - take temporary possession of as a security, by legal authority; "The FBI seized the drugs"; "The customs agents impounded the illegal shipment"; "The police confiscated the stolen artwork"
3.distrain - legally take something in place of a debt payment
reclaim, repossess - claim back


[dɪsˈtreɪn] VI (Jur) to distrain uponsecuestrar, embargar


vi (Jur) to distrain upon somebody’s goodsjds Eigentum beschlagnahmen
References in periodicals archive ?
If he doesn't pay, then his properties will be distrained and those are big ones like Fontana Park and Fort Ilocandia,' Aguirre told reporters.
Article 10: "No one is to be distrained to do more service for a knight's fee or for any other free tenement than is due from it"--thereby preventing a sort of taking.
Upon leaving the Investigation Service building, Menkov told journalists the property was a single room, unfurnished building of 200 sq m with a leaking roof, which most likely would be distrained by the bank.
55) However, the Sheriff and Coroners have nevertheless distrained (compelled) the executors to submit the chattels to the King.
Moreover, the Governmental Committee members approved a draft act on the experiment to introduce a new system of selling the distrained property through electronic auctions.
In one dispute over a distrained horse, Robert Gatell of Ouseburn, Yorkshire, refused to leave the church courtyard to fight his challenger, John Man.
The General Prosecutor's Office distrained 100% of shares and assets of Alfa Telecom on 5 October 2010 with the purpose to protect interests of the state.
It is among the sovereign's duties to uphold this right impartially, but the subject is given no means of redress if his property is unfairly seized or distrained.
The people refused to participate in the 1880s sheriffs' sales, to bid for stock that was distrained for non-payment of unjust rent.
It is seen from these sections that the debtor's person could be distrained or seized and his wife or children placed at the disposal of his creditor for three years, the victim working off the debt in the meanwhile.
There is, in fact, talk of an imminent departure, if only he will be able to get his spaceship back from the hotel owners who, they say, had it distrained.
Thus in tracing for her husband the rationale motivating her decision not to return the distrained livestock, she also succeeds in demonstrating to him her fair and politic treatment of the matter.